Gifts to Encourage Activity

kids gift ideas

My personal goal this year is to get each of my kids fewer gifts.  In those few gifts I am striving to find really meaningful gifts - things that can benefit their growth, whether that be mentally, spiritually, or physically;  things they need (which doesn't include underwear or socks).  Educational, but not in the way of "Merry Christmas, son, here's a new poster of the periodic table!"  I want to look beyond the My Little Pony and Transformers.  Things that will be appreciated and used all year long.

That being said, decided to get our kids 3 gifts only.  One they want, one they need (we decided this is active play), and one to read.  Some people call it the 3 wise men gifts - Gold (want), Myrrh (something for the body), and Frankincense (something for spiritual growth). 

So far I've talked about education (yet fun) stocking stuffers, and educational "big" gifts

In this post I share gifts that are fun, and encourage our children to work those growing muscles!  Strong bones and muscles are made by moving, not sitting playing video games.  If this winter is anything like last winter, we'll be spending a lot of time indoors again.

Get those wiggles out!

This Ball Hopper is such a blessing in our house.  It's good for outdoor and indoor.  We use it strictly indoors for those early morning high energy moments.  Originally, I got this for Connor when he was 4 because he had major sensory issues with movement.  This was a way for him to be in control of motion and get more comfortable with it as well.  Now it is perfect for us as my kids are early risers and I try to be mindful that all neighbors don't rise with the sun like my kids, so this is one way they can get those wiggles wiggled.  Ages 4+.

This Horse Hopper is easier for the toddlers to use.  It is super thick and durable.  It is not as bouncy as the ball hopper, which isn't a bad thing considering it's meant for the little guys.  Ages 36 months - 5 years.

Teeter Popper is so fun for the kids and builds balance and core muscles.  Can be used standing or sitting.  Makes a "pleasant' (as said in advertising) sound when rocked, but that's up for debate for the sound sensitive momma.  lol.  But I do like having an outlet for the kiddos to wiggle and move that is not my furniture.  ;)  If you have carpet, then this is not an issue as it only pops on hard floors.  Comes in blue, pink or green.  Ages 3+

The Bilibo comes in several color choices.  It is an open ended active and creative toy.  I love it for the balance and spinning aspect for my active kids - and they love the creative side.  Ages 2+

This Foam Pogo Jumper is great for indoor/outdoor use.  My 7 year old loves to jump, but is not graceful or balanced in the least, so a regular pogo was out of the question.  This is the perfect answer - and as a bonus, it's for adults too (up to 250 lbs)!  The cord is a bungee, so stretches to accomodate heights in the kids.  Ages 2+

Our 7 year old is constantly taking our pillows and throwing them in the air to punch and kick.  I can not attest to the quality of this personally, as we don't own it, yet.  This is his "need" toy for this year.  I am so excited for him to see it! Pure Boxing MMA Target Bag Ages 6+

I had these EZ Steppers in mind for a year or more now, then one day my Aunt showed up at my Grandma's house with them!  The kids had a great time.  It's not only super for balance, but also for coordination.  They come in several colors.  Ages 5+ (there's also a Monster Feet version!)

If you really must get a game, get something like this Nickelodeon Dance 2, for Wii.  Emma (age 4) loves to get a chance to play with the Wii and see her favorite cartoon characters.  I love that she's moving.  Any child older than 6 will likely announce that Dora is for babies.  In which case, I present to you, Just Dance Kids 2014!  lol.  Connor (age 7) also loves Wii Sports Resort .  I love that he gets in a whole lot of cardio, working up a great sweat.  As an added bonus, you can likely find it used, locally and they will never know, nor does it really matter so long as it is still working.  No shame in used.

What toys do your kids enjoy, to stay active?

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